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Dogs and fireworks: How to calm your dog during fireworks

Dogs and fireworks: How to calm your dog during fireworks

Jan 20, 2022

Is your dog scared of fireworks? Or maybe you have other pets that get nervous. Here are some tips that may help.

Humans have a unique connection to fireworks. The light emitted by fireworks is unlike most other forms of light that we are accustomed to viewing, therefore we are often compelled to watch on a subconscious level. All science aside, fireworks can seem quite magical and the closest most of us are going to get to being in a Harry Potter movie. Dogs, on the other hand, do not have the same fascination with fireworks and can have unpleasant responses to the loud noises and lights. These facts can help determine how to calm your dog during fireworks. 

Why Pets are Scared of Fireworks

Animals perceive light, sound, and smell differently than humans and often with more intensity. A human may be startled even if they know the noise and lights are about to happen. A pet will not sit with that same optimistic anticipation. Their first response is usually to run or hide. Anxious cats are prone to hiding while dogs and horses often prefer to run. Though, a combination of those two reactions is totally possible.

Rationality often goes out the window. Heck, your pet might go out that same window! Wooden doors, window screens, chain link fences and other perfectly suitable methods of containment are suddenly no match for your panicking pet. 

How to Calm Your Dog During Fireworks

July 4th and 5th are the busiest days of the year for the vast majority of animal shelters in the United States. New Year’s Day is the second busiest. The common factor in both of these cases is the flash and boom of celebratory fireworks.

Unlike commotion from construction, or a loud storm rolling in on the heels of rain and wind, fireworks come without warning. Everyone is hanging out by the bbq, the stars are shining and then all of a sudden the universe is being struck by the wrath of Thor! The sky is on fire! Are we under attack?

This goes for most animals including dogs, cats, horses and other pets. Here are a few tips on how to calm pets during fireworks and keep them safe.

Leave Pets Inside

Step one is to make sure there are numerous obstacles to overcome before escaping to an irrational freedom. Find a room that is farthest away from the noise and free from items that can be easily destroyed. This includes items that can be torn apart, swallowed or urinated on. Just because your pet is normally well behaved, does not mean they will stay that way when they are scared out of their mind. Close the windows all the way to minimize the sound and prevent an exit through the screen. Pull the curtains closed and make sure your pet has a comfortable place where they can feel secure. If you have an outside pet like a farm dog or horse, you may opt to secure them in the stable or barn. 

Proper Identification

Let’s say “hypothetically” that closed doors are no match for your pet. Don’t freak out. Your pet has probably done enough of that already. A little pre-planning can go a long way. Make sure your pet can be easily identified. The most obvious identifier is a collar with a tag proclaiming your pet’s name, along with your contact information. This is not foolproof. Collars can get snagged. If you haven’t considered microchipping your pet, now may be a good time to do that.

A microchip is a small rice-sized identifier that is injected into the subcutaneous layer of the skin. All veterinary hospitals and animal shelters are equipped with microchip scanners that link the number on the chip to your registered information. As an extra precaution, you may consider taking photos of your pet prior to setting off fireworks. Though this is not really a tip on how to calm pets during fireworks, it will help keep them safe! 

Does CBD Help Dogs with Fireworks?

There are a number of prescription medications that you may acquire from your veterinarian as long as you do some pre-planning. In this case, the answer could be much easier. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that interacts with your pet's naturally occurring endocannabinoid system. When CBD enters the body it allows for two-way communication between receptors in the body which makes it easier for the body to maintain a sense of calmness. 

If you anticipate an evening of fireworks, and the less than enthusiastic response your pet will have, consider giving your pet a serving of Receptra Pet CBD with its breakfast. If you feel that your four-legged friend is still going to have a tough time with the Independence Day festivities, give it another serving of Receptra Pet CBD in the evening, closer to the time of the fireworks show.

Using CBD is a safe and effective tip for how to calm pets during fireworks. The World Health Organization recently reported that CBD is non-addictive, without side-effects and is safe for both humans and animals. A dropper of Receptra Pet CBD oil could make a big difference and you may find that CBD helps your dog with fireworks. 

Make Some White Noise

For your indoor pets, it makes sense that if the sound of fireworks is less audible, your pet is less-likely to process it as a threat. Turn the television on Animal Planet or pop in a movie like “The Secret Life of Pets” or “Zootopia”.  . . you might want to stay away from “Homeward Bound,” so they don’t get any crazy ideas! The sound of the television or the radio should help muffle the fireworks. Even running a load of laundry could help. Again, if you can close the windows and put on the air conditioner or a fan, that would be ideal to help your dog who is afraid of fireworks.

Enjoy Fireworks Without Fear

Just like people, animals can adapt to their environment. If you live near an area where there are constantly loud, sudden noises it is likely that neither you nor your pet will be overly impressed by the sound of fireworks. For those unaccustomed to the noise, please take some of these suggestions into consideration and help your pet stay safe. If you also get a little anxious about fireworks, you may want to consider CBD for yourself!

Take care of yourself, take care of your pets and enjoy the fireworks display with a smile!